Intercepted ship – people smuggling operation ‘had New Zealand contacts’

Last week Malaysian authorities intercepted a ship trying to smuggle 131 Sri Lankans, and have said the operation ‘had New Zealand contacts’, but an Australian refugees’ rights activist said the ship would never have reached New Zealand.

RNZ: Tanker smuggling migrants ‘never would have made it to NZ’

Malaysian authorities halted the modified tanker with 131 people on board on Tuesday and a group of Indonesains and Malaysians were arrested.

Malaysia’s national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the large-scale and cunning human smuggling syndicate had been operating for a year and had connections in New Zealand, as well as in Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

However a spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said he doubted the ship could have gone far.

“It’s got a long way to come, even from Malaysia… and certainly the accommodation… it’s not equipped for any long distance thing.

So I think, on the face of it, there’s no possibility that it could be thinking of attempting to go to New Zealand.”

“It’s a fairly ambitious kind of operation and it’s unlikely, given the level of survellence between Indonesia and Australia, that a boat that size would make it.

He said the authorities were likely overplaying the level of complexity and contacts.

So this sounds like a long way from being a near miss.

Eventually a ship load of illegal immigrants may end up reaching New Zealand – ships travel great distances all the time, and a lot of New Zealand immigrants came here from the other side of the worlds in sailing ships.

Vigilance is needed, but it doesn’t seem to be a big concern here in New Zealand. And if some time a ship load of illegal immigrants end up making it here we just have to deal with it, as many other countries have to do.

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26 Comments

  1. sorethumb

     /  May 7, 2018

    They’d be heading directly for Bluff and then a reception at Speights Ale House!?

    Reply
  2. sorethumb

     /  May 7, 2018

    ships travel great distances all the time
    ……….
    Well spotted!

    Reply
  3. PartisanZ

     /  May 7, 2018

    Rintoul from RAC is kidding himself, ships like the ETRA are the mainstay of coastal trade around the islands, including, in larger form, many ferries …

    There’s a fair chance they’d have got here or made it close enough before they sank for it to be our responsibility to rescue them …

    And, in a much larger or ‘global’ sense, it is ‘our’ responsibility to rescue them.

    Want globalization? Then accept its challenges … its apparent ‘downside’ …

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  May 7, 2018

      The internationalist left want globalisation/open borders

      Reply
      • sorethumb

         /  May 7, 2018

        “Both in New Zealand and globally, the best of the leftwing tradition has always rejected small-minded nationalism, xenophobia and racism. In fact, leftists of an internationalist tradition have always favoured globalization and getting rid of national borders and barriers to migration. Progressive advocates of globalization of course do not defend a handful of rich imperialist countries, including New Zealand, dominating the world’s economy, but instead advocate an integrated and radically egalitarian world economy where production is based on social need and not on private profit. ”
        http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2012/02/guest-blog-post-john-moore-leftwing-xenophobia-in-new-zealand.html

        Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  May 7, 2018

        @sorethumb – “The internationalist Left want globalisation/open borders”

        And the globalizationist Right want … ?

        The above is, incidentally, rather a tidy if somewhat overstated description of an ethical world.

        Not “getting rid of national borders” completely, I don’t think … but rather rationalizing and regulating the globalist Right’s duplicitous loosening of them … to import the productions of sweatshop economies … to which local industry has been sacrificed … and import cheap labour … to maintain downward pressure on [mostly primary sector and service industry] wages … et al … to gather ever more profits and wealth to the corporate-capitalist-political elite … and grow and grow the inequality gap …

        Reply
  4. Geoffrey Monks

     /  May 7, 2018

    Well I guess that our few (2)? manned patrol craft would have sorted that out – so long as it was not the weekend.

    Reply
  5. Trevors_Elbow

     /  May 7, 2018

    “And if some time a ship load of illegal immigrants end up making it here we just have to deal with it” yip, by putting them on planes immediately and sending them home. They are just economic migrants trying it on. Deportation, no chance to plead for special treatment – yes I know its not the current law but it should be.

    Why?

    1/ Because quite simply we are so far from anywhere and so many other countries between here and anywhere that genuine refugees are no chance of escaping persecution and arriving in NZ immediately. If they are genuine refugees – well we take a quote of them every year, they should wait in UNCHR camps until their number is called….

    No rewards for queue jumpers and opportunists who pay snake heads to smuggle them to a soft land …

    2/ By accepting any person on board a smuggler ship – we encourage others to pay scum to stuff them on board dodgy ships and risk their lives unnecessarily

    Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  May 7, 2018

      Hey down tickers… tell us what you position is…. tick and walk away is so weak…

      Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  May 7, 2018

    ‘ ‘had New Zealand contacts’, -translation…1 illegal had a NZ contact number in his…phone.

    Reply
    • admiralvonspee

       /  May 7, 2018

      -translation…1 illegal had a NZ contact number in his…phone

      …with the contact name…….B…l….a….z…e…r

      Oops.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  May 7, 2018

        well Admiral,we can put the NZ navy on standby to intercept…these unwelcome,unwashed ,economic refugees.Is the Achilles still in commission?Nothing a good coat of paint…wouldn’t solve eh..wot!

        Reply
        • admiralvonspee

           /  May 7, 2018

          Better late than never, old bean!

          Reply
        • Been to Sri Lanka lately. I have.

          No good reason for anyone other than an economic migrant to come here

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 7, 2018

            Were you in Kandi during the buddhist anti-muslim riots in March?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 7, 2018

              *Kandy

            • No I wasn’t Gezza, though I’m aware of them and had reports. Very isolated.

              It was the Tamils who sought sanctuary , though heaven knows why they wouldn’t have gone right to India ( their historical ethnic home) instead of seeking “sanctuary”in Western countries.

    • sorethumb

       /  May 7, 2018

      Italy prosecutor says rescue boats in contact with people smugglers
      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/23/italy-prosecutor-says-rescue-boats-contact-people-smugglers/

      Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  May 7, 2018

      An Italian prosecutor has evidence of phone calls between Libyan people smugglers and aid groups operating rescue boats, he told newspaper La Stampa, amid growing criticism of non-governmental groups saving refugees off the Libyan coast.

      Reply
  7. sorethumb

     /  May 7, 2018

    NZ being used by people smugglers: Dutton
    Mr Dutton said the type of boat, its size and the people involved all pointed to a sophisticated operation, which had the potential to reach New Zealand.

    Those responsible are well known, he told reporters in Canberra on Monday, while thanking Malaysian authorities.

    “New Zealand is now being marketed as a definite destination,” he said.

    Mr Dutton said New Zealand was the only country in the world where you can have a visa into Australia on arrival.
    “The people smugglers understand that, I don’t understand why the Labor can’t,” he said.

    The minister said parties need to be careful about putting New Zealand in the policy mix because it becomes the “sugar” on the table.

    He stopped short of claiming New Zealand ought to accept any blame for the intercepted vessel due to its own border policies, but said the Ardern government now understood “the gravity of this situation”.

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/05/07/03/33/people-smuggling-syndicate-smashed-dutton

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  May 7, 2018

      It has no mention of Speights Ale House in Invercargill.

      Reply

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